The balloons have deflated. The dust bunnies on the floor have taken their place. The cupcakes are stale—well, the one I didn’t eat, anyway. The Kid knew something was up, because there were lots of people staring at him while he ripped paper. This is not a normal occurrence—the group staring, not the paper ripping. And besides, my shedding some tears into his cupcakes (they still tasted good), like most things this year, I made it through. I made it through his first birthday.
I wrote a blog early on in my Adventure in Motherhood called “Enjoy it.” Basically, it talked about all the moms that would randomly approach me at Starbucks, take one look at the tiny baby that I was strolling, and blurt out “Enjoy it.” It happened so often that I began to think that they were part of some secret society and that was the code, “Enjoy it.”
At the time, I was so sleep-deprived and hormonal, their advice just felt like a burden. I felt like there must be something wrong with me, because I wasn’t enjoying every second. Sure, there were parts of being a first-time mom that I was loving, but the not sleeping, the colic-induced screaming, the not knowing how to sooth him, and the not sleeping were all hard to get through. However, after hearing the first hundred or so moms that uttered this random advice, I began to realize what they knew, and what I was just beginning to understand: This time will never come again.
And that’s what I thought as I watched him take a couple steps and plop down in front of his stack of birthday presents. His first birthday was definitely a milestone for him, but like all his milestones have been, it was one for me, as well. Every time I think about his first birthday, I am overrun with a wave of emotion, much like his drool when he’s teething.
I never knew being a mom would be so hard.
I never knew being a mom would be so miraculous.
I am amazed by this tiny little human on a daily basis, and I consider it an honor to be able to share everything with him.
So, what advice would I give to a new mother?
1. You can get through consecutive nights on little or no sleep. It’s after three nights that the delusions set in and your husband begins to look like a cross between Matthew Maconaughey, George Clooney, and Alf.
2. Make sure you always carry extra clothes. Especially extra underwear—for yourself. You never know when you may laugh, cough, or sneeze and pee your pants a little.
And the most important?
3. Enjoy it.
I know I am.
Bloggers Note: I just wanted to take a moment to thank the folks at Pregnancy and Newborn for giving me this wonderful opportunity. Writing here weekly has been a wonderful experience, and I will miss it greatly. Thank you, all preggos and moms, for reading my stories and sharing your own stories with me. It’s amazing to know I am not alone on this wonderfully crazy ride called motherhood. Feel free to follow more of my adventure on my website www.tonilynhornung.com, and keep in touch. xo